Dozens of news organizations and a major comic distributor have announced they will stop running the popular syndicated comic strip Dilbert after its creator Scott Adams said black Americans who think it’s not okay to be white are essentially a “hate group” and that he wants “nothing to do with” them.
Adams made the comments last Wednesday on his YouTube channel “Real Coffee with Scott Adams” in reaction to a new Rasmussen poll that showed 47 percent of black Americans either disagree or are not sure that “it’s okay to be white.” Only 53 percent of black respondents agreed that “it’s okay to be white.”
Adams went so far as to say that his “best advice for white people is that they should get the hell away from black people.”
The cartoonist also commented that he’s sick of seeing videos on social media “every damn day” showing black people beating up white people. “There’s some black person beating the shit out of some white person,” Adams said. “I’m kind of over it.”
He advised white people to “get the f-ck away—wherever you have to go, just get away,” he said. “‘Cause there’s no fixing this.”
Longer video: He also talks about out of control black-on-white crime: pic.twitter.com/I2ucj1QEu5
— Jesse Lee Peterson (@JLPtalk) February 25, 2023
Newspapers across the country have alerted readers that they are dropping Adams’ long-running comic strip over his remarks. According to the Associated Press, “Dilbert” distributor Andrews McMeel Universal announced on Sunday it was severing ties to Adams.
Various media publishers across the U.S. denounced the comments as racist, hateful and discriminatory while saying they would no longer provide a platform for his work.
Readers of The Sun Chronicle in Attleboro, Massachusetts, found a blank space in Monday’s edition where “Dilbert” would normally run. The paper said it would keep the space blank throughout March “as a reminder of the racism the pervades our society.”
Newspapers ranging from the Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post to smaller papers like the the Santa Fe New Mexican and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette have also said they would cease to publish “Dilbert.” The strip, which lampoons office culture, first appeared in 1989.
“This is a decision based on the principles of this news organization and the community we serve,” Cleveland Plain Dealer Editor Chris Quinn wrote. ”We are not a home for those who espouse racism. We certainly do not want to provide them with financial support.”
The Andrews McMeel Universal statement said the distributor supports free speech, but Adams’ comments were not compatible with the core values of the company based in Kansas City, Missouri.
“We are proud to promote and share many different voices and perspectives. But we will never support any commentary rooted in discrimination or hate,” the statement jointly signed by the chair and CEO said.
In a YouTube video Monday, Adams announced that new “Dilbert” strips will only be available on his subscription service on the Locals platform.
“They made a business decision, which I don’t consider anything like censorship,” he said of Andrews McMeel Universal, noting that his comments were hyperbole.
Adams made a similar announcement on Twitter:
“Dilbert has been cancelled from all newspapers, websites, calendars, and books because I gave some advice everyone agreed with,” he tweeted. “Dilbert (and more) will only be available on the subscription site http://scottadams.locals.com when sorted out.”
Dilbert has been cancelled from all newspapers, websites, calendars, and books because I gave some advice everyone agreed with. (My syndication partner canceled me.)
Dilbert (and more) will only be available on the subscription site https://t.co/lAH9Itp9tv when sorted out.
— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) February 27, 2023
Adams drew support from billionaire Elon Musk, who agreed with a commenter who tweeted on Sunday that “Adams’ comments weren’t good,” but chalked the racial divide up to identity politics, and said we need to return to being a colorblind society.
“Exactly,” Musk responded.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 26, 2023
The chief Twit also suggested that the media has played a part in the racial divide, first by being racist toward “non-white people,” and then toward whites and Asians.
Just how bad is the bias in the media in favor of its own oppression narratives?
This chart quantifies some of it: Unarmed white victims of police violence get only a *tiny* fraction of the news coverage that black ones do — maybe about two to three percent as much. https://t.co/eJ8IWuEOqQ pic.twitter.com/5RDzptygur
— Monitoring Bias (@monitoringbias) February 26, 2023
Musk further defended Adams on Monday, tweeting that while he may not agree with everything the humorist says, “Dilbert is legit funny & insightful.”
I don’t agree with everything Scott says, but Dilbert is legit funny & insightful.
We should stop canceling comedy!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 27, 2023
Adams explained his position in a two hour interview with black conservative “Hotep Jesus” on Sunday, clarifying that he is opposed to any discrimination against individuals. “Everybody should be treated as individuals, period,” he said. However, Adams added, “if you’re not in a Constitutional, legal sense, and you’re not talking to an individual … you might want to avoid people you think have a bad opinion of you.”
When asked why he made the controversial comments, the cartoonist told the host that he “never does something for one reason.”
“I wouldn’t do it just for laughs. I wouldn’t do it just for clout. I certainly wouldn’t do it for financial reasons!” he laughed, noting that Dilbert is being cancelled all over the country. “I would be surprised if I’m still in business a few days from now,” he said.
Adams said he “disavows” white nationalists for “completely for agreeing with me for all the wrong reasons.”
He pointed out that contrary to popular opinion, he is a leftist who was pro-Black Lives Matter before he realized it is a sham, believes in criminal justice reform, and supports a type of reparation he thinks would be agreeable to most people. He also noted that he has worked throughout his life to help improve the lives of black Americans stuck in poverty.
Hotep said that he thought Adams made the controversial remarks in an attempt to start a larger conversation.
Laughing, Adams replied, “I’ve discovered that the price of free speech is really high and there are only a few people willing to pay it. So I decided to pay it so I could extend the conversation to something that everyone needs to hear.”
I'm accepting criticism from anyone who has seen the full context here.
The rest of you are in a fake news bubble but I trust you suspected that.
Scott Adams Interview – It's Okay to Be White https://t.co/yP6rNiOXnS via @YouTube
— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) February 26, 2023